Friday, March 23, 2018

motherhood // standing on grounds formed of Truth






 


Never had I experienced true fear or anxiety till becoming a mother.

Fragile little souls wrapped in beauty placed within me three times, thus far. These precious little souls awakened my own awareness of, not only my own soul, but the soul of my husband and others I encounter through friendship, family, and happenstance more than previously possible.

Recently, a young woman asked me what has been the most profound experience or truth I have discovered since becoming a mother.

Given that this was my first meeting with this young woman and she was so excited and happy to know me, I was happy to oblige with an answer. However, she had just asked me one of those questions that not only make you try to form words to experiences known so intimately from the depths of you, but also that make you spiral back through your entire life, again, trying to comprise words that could give justice to the realities only known by the heart.

I looked at her, because in truth, I have thought of this before (remember, I'm an INFP to the core), and told her, "Never have I known the true weight and glory of another's soul till becoming a mother."

Those are the only words I've been able to string together to encompass the truth of carrying another person within me. The weight after my firstborn came into my arms was so real and good and beautiful. Then, the weights of our second born and third born that followed all delighted my own soul in big ways.

But as much as there has been such delight and sheer joy at the amazing gift of life and having been that instrument, there has been just as much anxiety, and at times, fear that tries to seep in more often than I care for.

Any sickness, severe or minor, has pierced my heart. Every injury or wail from the other room, has put my heart in a panic from within. Almost like there is something inside me, a part of them still left, that mimics their pain.

There's been times when I thought I would have to let my Lord have them sooner than my heart was ready. And there's been times when their suffering, untouchable by my simple hands, has spun me round in a whirlwind of hope and fear, desire to love and anxiety.

In these times, prayer has been my consolation. My husband has also been such a stronghold. Scripture has wrapped me in blankets of stories of those of old and their own wisdom in times of trial. Mother Church and her communion of saints has also lit a pathway present and forward that proved good, honest, and needed. All of this, wrapped in His Grace, are what have brought me to where I am today, able to look back and and hopefully, look at my present and say, all is well, all is well, in all manner of things, all shall be well.

Words really have a way of calming my soul into stillness, as does Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. The saints and their heroic lives also meet my soul in a way that is so encouraging! So, to bring words, Truth, Goodness, & Beauty, and the saints together, I'm going to share seven + one bits of wisdom below that has helped me withstand deciet a time or many.


The prayer, in full, is so incredibly powerful! Have you ever prayed the full prayer? Definitely worth every word! Prior to discovering the full prayer, I had only known the more commonly seen portion of it:

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.


While the portion I was familiar with is also beautiful and good, the full prayer is just so strong, powerful, and commanding.


“So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known.”

-Matthew 10:26


"Stop entertaining those vain fears. Remember it is not feeling which constitutes guilt but the consent to such feelings. Only the free will is capable of good or evil. But when the will sighs under the trial of the tempter and does not will what is presented to it, there is not only no fault but there is virtue."

-St. Padre Pio


"Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do."

- Pope John XXIII


"But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

-Mark 6:50


"In all the events of life, you must recognize the divine will. Adore and bless it, especially in the things which are the hardest for you."

- St. Padre Pio


“Do not fear what may happen tomorrow. The same loving Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and every day. Either he will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings.”

-St. Francis de Sales

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While the joy and delight of the gift of life being shared with my husband and I has been one of the most profound experiences of our lives up to this point, there are times where I struggle with trusting in Him. In those times, fear and anxiety run over me and it feels awful. These words of wisdom, encouragement, and truth have all been anchors for my soul, forcing me to stand on grounds formed of Truths rather than the sinking sands of deceit that the father of lies spews at me.

Becoming a mother has truly allowed me to have these extravagant tastes of Heaven that I do not deserve, and it has also made the soul, eternity, and salvation that much more real. The real is the life-saving part, but can all too easily, become my fault that spins me further away from the heart of my vocation. A spin, that if left unattended, can leave me in the most disoriented and dizzy state!

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How do you all combat deceit or falsehoods in your life? Do you have amazing sounding boards in your spouse or a best friend or parent? Do you fill yourself with scripture or wisdom from the saints? OR perhaps, something entirely different? I'd love to know!

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Prayers that we can all move towards the heart of our vocation and stay there with gratitude, delight, joy, and authentic presence more often than let the dizzies invade!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

the side of love // taking the time







There's a beautiful rhythm to our world. We see it in the seasons that guide us through death and new life every year. The rhythm calls to us. It calls to our souls that yearn for the Unseen because it is in what is seen that makes the Unseen known.

In a similar way, we experience seasons. Seasons of health and seasons of sickness, seasons of death and of new life, seasons of growth and seasons of stillness, and seasons of every possible opposition that exists in our little world.

A few years ago, my soul entered a season of stillness. The season felt like it was filled with so many words that displayed such amazing thought and Truth, and yet, a season in which my soul could not form comparable words on this little webspace of mine. It's almost as if my soul was so filled it couldn't possibly reveal the gifts that it was relishing in. And so, this season has felt like a sort of retreat of my heart, will, and mind.

During this time, I kept feeling the Holy Spirit nudge.

Rest.

Be still.

Know.

Now, I know I've chatted about rest in this little space of mine. Rest is just something that comes naturally to me, sometimes in times that are fantastic and nourishing, and in other times, in a way that is easily seen as vice! 

But this was a different sort of rest. The kind of rest that us phlegmatic/INFP's are absolutely stellar at is not what He was asking of me, rather, more of a rest of my brain and heart! In other words, He grabbed my hand, walked me away from here, and asked me to take some time to try and still the inner constancy of my brain.

This retreat has been incredibly amazing. The gift of Mother Church, Her teachings, all that surrounds us in the wisdom of the faithful - old and new, the incredible otherworldliness of universal truths, and more are what my mind, heart, and soul have been continually filled with these last couple of years. To say, I'm thankful doesn't even begin to cut it!

And yet, through it all, my little soul has been stunned into silence. There's been such a filling of Truth, that leaves me not knowing where to begin.

There's beauty in new beginnings. We see it every season. We see it at every end to a season, too. The fruits are seen and known and serve our hearts in such good ways. Only, if we take the time to see it.

--

So, till the next time I take the time to see and know, how do you take time to notice how He speaks to you in your season or present?

Is it easy? What are the distractions? What are the encouragements? 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

the side of love // i want to make Him known


Emptiness.

Nothing.

Stillness.

Stirring.

Have you ever felt these things? or maybe, have you ever wondered, why?, these things are ever present within you?

I sure have.

In fact, for some time now, every time I came to write here, these very words rose up in me and stilled me.

In that stillness there is nothing but stillness. There is nothing but an emptiness that leaves me feeling I have nothing to offer - no words to put together, no thoughts that make sense, nothing to say - nothing.

And yet, there is a stirring that does not go away. A stirring that keeps swirling within me. It's this little fire that sways, keeping a warmth within me filled with hope and desire and the whisper of in His time.

I don't know what or when or how often I should be on this little webhome of mine, but I do know that I've asked Him for time, a request I notice Him answering in spurts, here and there spurts that I need to embrace. I also know that He hasn't taken my heart's desire to be in this little space, which is a truth I will not let pass me by, with His Grace.

So, with that, I'm going to open up my blogger page every time I sense a stirring. I'm going to go to the blankness and emptiness and nothingness of the white space with the tiny blinking cursor and ask my heart to put the words, she so much desires to puzzle through, out in the world.

Emptiness.

Nothing.

Stillness.

Stirring.

In all of these things, there He is. Through all of these things, I want to make Him known.



--

How have you responded to the experience of emptiness, nothing, stillness, or stirring? How has He met you in these times?

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

childhood // bigfoot is six




 















The biggest little love of ours turned six over the summer. To say this boy was designed to live outdoors playing sports and soaking up the sun is an understatement. If he's inside, he's wishing he were out, playing, running, jumping, climbing. If he's outside, the driving reason - aside from him loving his mama - for him being obedient when asked to come back inside, is his desire to come back out as soon as possible. He lives for that green grass, blue sky, and yellow sun. He thrives with all things sports and has such an ambition to improve on these challenging skills. It's fun and inspiring.

This little guy desperately wanted to finally lose a tooth. I mean, desperately! So, to start off in the gift of answered prayers department for a birthday, he lost his tooth the day before his birthday. He shed a tear he was so elated. I got the whole thing on video and his sheer joy may have caused this mama to shed a tear or two, too.

This guy loves his family, loves his siblings something fierce, has the biggest heart for his extended family, and truly enjoys and cares about his friends.

Bigfoot, you inspire love in us. You inspire true and authentic family time. You encourage your daddy and me to love each other well and we are forever grateful that God chose to share your beautiful soul with us.

Praying that God bless and keep you always in the stillness and fullness of His amazing and good  heart. Thanks be to God from whom all blessings and gift come!

And, for fun, here's a little Q & A from the big man himself:


1. What is your favorite color? Green.

2. What is your favorite toy? Ninjago Sword.

3. What is your favorite fruit? Pears.

4. What is your favorite TV show? Ninjago.

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Pizza.

6. What is your favorite outfit? Houston Astros Jersey.

7. What is your favorite game? Jenga.

8. What is your favorite snack? Chips + Salsa.

9. What is your favorite animal? Cheetah.

10. What is your favorite song? Love is Action by Tauren Wells.

11. What is your favorite book? Nexo Knights book

12. Who is your best friend? my Brother + Dan

13. What is your favorite sport? Tae Kwon Do

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play with my bouncy ball.

15. What is your favorite drink? Lemonade.

16. What is your favorite holiday? Halloween.

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Swords.

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Bacon, eggs, + pancakes

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Pizza.

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A Ninja.


love you, forever and ever, always.

-mama


Monday, February 13, 2017

childhood // linus is four

Our resident knight turned four. He is the sweetest little gift jam-packed with adventure, bravery, love, fierceness, courage, creativity, imagination, smiles, laughter, and silliness. He has challenged me as a mother in so many ways that I know are good for me and he has encouraged us all to be better just by living. We, unfortunately, had to cancel his little park birthday celebration, but all that mattered to this sweet little heart was whether or not his family would still be here to celebrate.

I could go on for days about this little Linus of ours, but instead, enjoy this fun questionnaire he happily answered for his mama and some photos of his birthday weekend!

1. What is your favorite color? Red

2. What is your favorite toy? My red dragon

3. What is your favorite fruit? Orange

4. What is your favorite TV show? Da Kratt Brothers

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Pizza

6. What is your favorite outfit? Dallas Cowboy Jersey

7. What is your favorite game? The dragon game.

8. What is your favorite snack? Gummi Bears

9. What is your favorite animal? Horsey

10. What is your favorite song? Nobody Knows by The Lumineers

11. What is your favorite book? St. George and the Dragon & The Hobbit

12. Who is your best friend? My brother.

13. What is your favorite sport? Baseball

14. What is your favourite thing to do outside? Play knights.

15. What is your favorite drink? Juice.

16. What is your favorite holiday? The Weekend.

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Horse-y

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Waffles with blueberry faces

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Donuts.

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A knight.


































motherhood // standing on grounds formed of Truth

  Never had I experienced true fear or anxiety till becoming a mother. Fragile little souls wrapped in beauty pla...